This week’s edition features Christine Iksic, the cofounder and Community Outreach & Marketing Director for 3 Rivers Outdoor Company (3ROC) in Regent Square. Birthed from a love of the outdoors and desire to see others enjoy Pittsburgh’s many natural spaces, Christine and co-founder Chris Kaminski created 3ROC to help grow the community of outdoor enthusiasts while protecting our natural environment. For 3ROC, it’s the little things that matter most:
What are two or three reasons sustainability (consideration for people, planet, & prosperity) is important to 3ROC?
As individuals and a business passionate about spending time outdoors we recognize that we must protect our natural resources and that all things are connected. It isn’t about conservation of just local places in our own backyard that we recreate in but in seeing that with air, water, and land it is all interconnected. We must care about the earth in order to preserve even a small wild space right here in Pennsylvania.
Further, as active participants in the outdoors, we recognize that through sustainability and preservation of natural spaces we are also creating a better community of healthy and happy individuals. So, at a local level, by promoting other organizations and places we help to build a stronger community by helping other individuals discover new spaces and ways to get outdoors. Once we grow a larger community of individuals that recognize the personal benefits of spending time outside, they’ll also then be more motivated to make choices that improve sustainability efforts.
We believe that every choice not only has a financial impact but an environmental impact as well. If we want to protect our natural environment, we must make choices that while initially a greater financial cost or a greater increase in time and effort, ultimately have less of a negative impact on our environment.
We make these choices by taking the time to sort and recycle all our plastic bag waste. There is no pickup service for this and while it would be easier to just trash it, we realize the impact that it has on the environment; often the more difficult or costly decision is the right decision when consider the environmental impacts. The same can be said at the consumer level. It might be much less expensive to purchase product A but when we look back the manufacturing and material chain, the negative impact on the environment is much greater. We hope to help educate consumers that choosing product B, while more expensive, isn’t about putting more money in the retailers or manufacturers pocket but about choosing to care for environment. Each purchasing decision has an environmental impact from the food, we eat to the clothes we wear.
What do you like best about your job?
The best part of our job is seeing the joy folks get from discovering a new outdoor space in or near Pittsburgh after coming into our shop and we share. Also seeing the many friendships that have formed from events or outings that we have had and people have been able to discover their community of like-minded people who share a passion for the outdoors.
What advice do you have for other small businesses that want to be more sustainable?
Think about the long-term impacts of every decision and don’t be afraid to ask around. We were throwing out the silicone bead packets which we get quite a bit of in our packaging of new products. It bothered us to be throwing this out so we asked around to other local businesses and found a soap maker who could use the silicone packets in their business to eliminate moisture in shipping. Most things can be re-used at some level or another sometimes it just takes asking around to find the right path to reuse.
[Editor’s Note: 3 Rivers Outdoor Company is a Platinum sponsor of I Am Sustainable Pittsburgh.]